Dimarzio Model J vs. Fender Super 55's

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Jim C, May 31, 2019.

  1. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I've had a 74 J bass since about 78' and it came with really bad pups.
    Back then your aftermarket choice was Dimarzio and I've been happy with them.
    They are installed with the stock 250K pots so the tone is warmer than using the 500 K pots that Dimarzio now recommends.

    To me, the tone is more P like than J and it works well for me.
    Not a huge difference between neck, and neck / bridge but i great sound with a tone control is great.
    I finally found some 55's and bought them based on the reviews here.

    I'm thinking the 55's will sound closer to stock?
    If they are nothing like what I'm used to I'd rather not touch any solder joints or screw around with something I like.

    OTOH, this bass plays really well and I'm not sure what I could be missing.
    Maybe flnd a cheap bass just to try the 55's?
  2. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Or keep the original wiring harness as original as you can and get a solderless wiring harness. That way you can go tone hunting and swap out pickups easily until you find exactly what you're looking for.
    Jim C likes this.
  3. Isotonic

    Isotonic Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Round Rock TX
    I'd get an alternate body and swap necks. Actually, I would build a whole new bass and then if I liked it I would add it to the stable. If I didn't find it useful then I would dismantle it and save the parts for the next project.

    The Super 55s and a few other pickups are definitely worth getting to know. They are special.
    Jim C likes this.
  4. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I just compared my stock 72' J against the 74' with Dimarzio's.
    I am pretty surprised that they sounded very similar.
    I've always like the more open sound of the neck pup heavily favored (for most rock work).
    I must have the coils with the Dimarzio wired in parallel as the volume is about the same as well as the treble response.
    Then again, I'm comparing dual coils to single coils.

    I have switches under the pickguard so I can check easiliy.
    OTOH, it took months to decide which version I liked years ago when I played J basses exclusively and don't want to revisit yet another variable (rat hole)!
    Both basses have new Sunbeams.

    Compared to a stock 72' P with brand new Sunbeams, both the J basses have much more growl but also capable of being full range.
    The Sandberg with big pole P bass pups and active eq seems to get someehere in between.

    All testing with an ABM500 and GB 2x12 NeoX cabinet.
    Of course, all of this is pretty minor considering all of the combinations sound GREAT.
    Then again, this is TalkBass...
  5. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Play with the Dimarzio parallel/series switching and have fun. If everything sounds great leave it all alone. The moment it doesn't is where frustration sets in and the wallet opens up.

    A stock jazz, a modded jazz, a stock P and a modern P. You've nearly got all your "basses" covered.
    Jim C likes this.